Q: How do I clean and cook a pumpkin?
A: Here are tips on how to clean a pumpkin for cooking—plus five delicious pumpkin recipes!
- First, scrub the outside of the pumpkin with a vegetable brush.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and use a spoon to scrape out the fibers and the seeds. A serrated grapefruit spoon works great for this.
- Cut the pumpkin halves into smaller pieces, then place them skin side up in a shallow baking dish.
- Add water to just cover the bottom of the dish, and cover tightly.
- Bake in a 325ºF oven until the pumpkin is fork tender. The time will vary depending on the size of your pieces.
- Let it cool, and then either cut off the peel or scoop out the flesh.
TIP: For pumpkins that you’re not cooking right away, keep them cool but not quite as cool as root crops. If you have a coolish bedroom, stashing them under the bed works well. They like a temperature of about 50 to 65ºF.
TIP: Eating pumpkin pie may encourage sleepiness.
Pumpkin Spice Mix Recipe
Mix the following in a jar:
- 1/3 cup ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice.
For pumpkin pie, add 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of spice mix to your other ingredients.
TIP: Sprinkle a teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix into your carved pumpkin before lighting the candle.